Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Mythological Character Transcritpion: Idea I - TEZCATLIPOCA

His one character I found very interesting whilst looking across the vast amount of gods involved in Mesoamerican mythology. He one of the very few that had a collective amount of information, both visually and descriptively. It seems in most mythology that describe of the gods usually contradict one another, or cant seem to make thier mind up what they have due to people views and accounts. This howver gives me more choices through selection to create the character. Here is the information I found on this deity.





















In Nahuatl mythology, Tezcatlipoca (tes-cat-lee-poh-ka) or "smoking mirror" was the god of the night, the north, temptation, sorcery, beauty and war. He was known by other descriptive names, such as Titlacauan (We His Slaves), Ipalnemoani (He by whom we live), Necocyaotl (Sower of Discord on Both Sides) and Tloque Nahuaque (Lord of the Near and Nigh) and Yohualli Eecatl (Night, Wind). When depicted he was usually drawn with a black stripe painted across his face, and is usually shown with his right foot replaced with a mirror made of obsidian or hematite.


















Sometimes the mirror was shown on his chest. He would carry four arrows in his right hand to punish the sins of man with. His hair was black and in the style of a warrior, as well as carrying a shield and weapon. He wore twenty gold bells on his ankles, and on his right foot he wore a deer hoof, representing his swiftness and agility. He appears on the first page of the Codex Borgia carrying the 20 day signs of the calendar; in the Codex Cospi he is shown as a spirit of darkness, as well as in the Codex Laud and the Dresden Codex.

According to the Aztecs, he was also the god of discord and deceit as well as the god of robbers, but he was also the god of rulers, warriors and sorcery. He was associated with the notion of destiny or fate and with the jaguar, and was known for inciting wars between peoples.




















He owned a mirror (Itlachiayaque - "Place From Which He Watches") that gave off smoke, killing his enemies; he saw everything and he punished wrong doers with illness and poverty, and rewarded good people with wealth and fame. He was the antithesis, rival, and eventually the twin of Quetzalcoatl. It was thought then when a baby was conceived, it was placed there by Tezcatlipoca to decided it¹s fate; the day you were born on prophesised the success or failure in your future. How the child looked was also attributed to the whim of Tezcatlipoca. It was thought that he would appear at night as a shrouded corpse, a bundle of ashes or a headless man with his chest and stomach slit open, and anyone who was brave enough to rip out his heart could demand a reward for returning it.



 
Attributes of both Tezcatlipoca and Quetzalcoatl originally came from pre-Aztec traditions of the Olmecs and the Toltecs. The Aztecs assimilated them in their religion, and the two deities were equated and considered twin gods.


They were both equal and opposed. Thus Tezcatlipoca was called "Black Tezcatlipoca", and Quetzalcoatl "White Tezcatlipoca". Mixcoatl was sometimes added to this complex as "Red Tezcatlipoca." Omacatl, Titlacahuan and Tezcatlanextia were also considered aspects of Tezcatlipoca; the four Tezcatlipocas were the sons of Ometecuhtli and Omecihuatl, lord and lady of the duality, and were the creators of all the other gods, as well as the world and man.

Tezcatlipoca was the Aztec god of night and all material things. He carried a magic mirror that gave off smoke and killed enemies, and so he was called "god of smoking mirror." He was god of the north. As lord of the world and the natural forces, he was the opponent of the spiritual Quetzalcoatl, and sometimes appeared as a tempter, urging men to evil. Punishing evil and rewarding goodness, he tested men's minds with temptations, rather than trying to lead them into wickedness. He was also god of beauty and war, the lord of heroes and lovely girls. He once seduced the goddess of flowers, Xochiquetzal, wife of the god Xochipilli, because such a lovely goddess was a good match for him, being a handsome war-like god. Yet he appeared most frequently as a magician, a shape shifter and a god of mysterious powers.



















As you can see there is a crazy amount of text to work with, but is also abundant in description. I will leave this huge chunk of text on my blog as use of reference, but if I were to choose this Deity I would need to break it down into a simpler form to work with. For terms of origin and stylistic reference, I dont really feel the need to create influence maps until I know what character I want to transcribe, there simply is just too much reference out there.

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